Save South Africa's lesser Flamingos home!

  • by: Save the Flamingo Fund
  • recipient: To do stop the problem of the raw sewage from being flushed into the dam.

What is this campaign about you're surely to ask?

Kamfers Dam, a large wetland near Kimberley, South Africa, is one of only four places in the whole of Africa where the spectacular Lesser Flamingo breeds. Unfortunately it is in serious trouble. Untreated sewage from a broken sewage works is flooding into it, and developers want to build upmarket houses around it. The flamingos and other wildlife that depend on the dam, as well as the numerous people who live in surrounding suburbs, are now in danger.

Save the Flamingo, a non-profit organisation, has positive solutions for the problems facing Kamfers Dam, but we need supporters all around the world to help us persuade the local authorities to take the threats facing this precious waterbody seriously. Without urgent action the dam will become a polluted cesspool devoid of birdlife, and a hazard to the people of Kimberley. We%u2019d hugely appreciate it if you could sign the petition on our website, and, if possible, donate some money to help this cause. You can find out more about Kamfers Dam and its extraordinary flamingos on their website.

This cause was also researched by one of our top news reporter programs Carte Blanche on MNet and the mayor of Kimberley gave some very revealing information that standard procedure was not followed before the land right next to this dam was rezoned to residential area. Our flamingos are in peril!

Please sign either on this website or on

Thank you for caring about our world!

Dear P. Lenyibi, Executive Mayor, Sol Plaatje Municipality;
A. Florence, Executive Mayor, Frances Baard District Municipality;
P. Saaiman, MEC: Department of Tourism, Environment and Conservation
D. Peters, the Honourable Premier, Northern Cape;
L. Hendricks, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry;
M. van Schalkwyk, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

Kamfers Dam, on the northern edge of Kimberley, is the only breeding site of Lesser Flamingos in South Africa, the fourth in Africa and sixth in the world. The three other breeding sites in Africa are threatened by various factors, including soda ash mining, reduced inflow from catchment areas and disturbance by humans. The most serious and rapidly escalating threat to Kamfers Dam's flamingos is the deterioration of water quality as a result of untreated sewage flowing into Kamfers Dam from the Homevale Sewerage Works, the larger of only two failing and mismanaged sewage works in Kimberley.

An estimated 5% of the 9000 flamingo chicks from the first breeding season on the Kamfers Dam flamingo island are showing signs of seriously malformed joints and lesions, suspected to be as a result of deteriorating water quality. This is presently under scientific investigation.

Periodic algal blooms at Kamfers Dam, as a result of high levels of dissolved nutrients in the water, lead to hydrogen sulphide emissions when they rot, causing an unbearable stench. These emissions are a nuisance factor to neighbouring communities and businesses.

Poor water quality could eventually lead to water-borne diseases that could be a risk to human health.

Uncontrolled excess water quantity will have the effect of flooding the well established flamingo breeding island, as well as flooding the foundations of Kimberley's major railway lines and thus disrupting rail traffic.

Other threats include proposed developments that are not appropriate for the internationally-important Kamfers Dam wetland area. Storm water runoff and sewage from these will add to the pollution of Kamfers Dam, and through disturbance and other factors could possibly cause the flamingos to stop breeding or desert the dam.

We the undersigned, urgently request that the Sol Plaatje Municipality, which is legally responsible for managing Kimberley's infrastructure and services as well as ecologically justifiable and sustainable urban development, take urgent action now to remove the threats to Kamfers Dam's Lesser Flamingos. These flamingos could be considered to be an indicator of the health of Kimberley's environment. If the flamingos are ill, what other aspects of our environment are being negatively affected?

It is the people of Kimberley's constitutional right to a healthy environment that is not polluted or degraded.

Provincial and national environmental legislation which protects Lesser Flamingos is currently being violated.

We want Kamfers Dam's flamingos to be there forever so that they can be enjoyed by our many visitors, our children and all future generations.

Thank you for taking the time to read our letters to you.

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